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Light action turns the Alamo and Liberty Pole into Big Shots

After nearly a year of planning, RIT's most recent Big Shot projects ended in a flash. Actually, the light from hundreds of camera flashes and other sources helped produce a pair of compelling images, featuring a prominent Rochester landmark and one of our nation's most historic monuments.

On Dec. 2, downtown Rochester served as the backdrop for Big Shot 2000. Faculty members Bill DuBois, Michael Peres and Dawn Tower DuBois worked alongside students to photograph the annual holiday lighting of the Liberty Pole. Despite a temperature of 18 degrees, more than a thousand other volunteers from the community showed up to join the fun, helping create a magical moment.

"I absolutely gasped," recalls Dawn Tower DuBois. "It was just an incredible feeling to see all the lights and to watch the reaction of all those people. That one moment made the planning, the work and the anxiety all worthwhile."

Just three months later, RIT's photo team was off to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. Big Shot 2001 became the highlight of activities marking 165 years since the fall of the Alamo. The idea to bring Big Shot to San Antonio was proposed by Scott Saldinger '91, an RIT alumnus now living there.

"It's one of the most photographed buildings in the world," he says. "Also, the hospitality in this city is overwhelming."

He's right. On March 10, hundreds of enthusiastic residents showed up to lend their support and to marvel at the spectacle. The Alamo became the first Big Shot produced outside New York and the 16th Big Shot since RIT's School of Photographic Arts and Sciences started the tradition back in 1987.

For a look at the history of Big Shot, visit the Web site at http://photography.rit.edu.